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Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder

Forty, Elizabeth, Ulanova, Anna, Jones, Lisa, Jones, Ian Richard, Gordon-Smith, Katherine, Fraser, Christine, Farmer, Anne, McGuffin, Peter, Lewis, Cathryn M., Hosang, Georgina M., Rivera, Margarita, Craddock, Nicholas John and Dunajewski, Katherine 2014. Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry 205 (6) , pp. 465-472. 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.152249

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Background Individuals with a mental health disorder appear to be at increased risk of medical illness. Aims To examine rates of medical illnesses in patients with bipolar disorder (n = 1720) and to examine the clinical course of the bipolar illness according to lifetime medical illness burden. Method Participants recruited within the UK were asked about the lifetime occurrence of 20 medical illnesses, interviewed using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Results We found significantly increased rates of several medical illnesses in our bipolar sample. A high medical illness burden was associated with a history of anxiety disorder, rapid cycling mood episodes, suicide attempts and mood episodes with a typically acute onset. Conclusions Bipolar disorder is associated with high rates of medical illness. This comorbidity needs to be taken into account by services in order to improve outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and also in research investigating the aetiology of affective disorder where shared biological pathways may play a role.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2021 01:22

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